Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ubuntu Touch app wishlist and status (May 2015)

This is an update to the last post and has again been heavily extended. Thanks to all the people on the internet who came up with additions, updates and corrections. You know who you are!

Canonical has released OTA-3.5 by now, a shiny new Meizu phone is being sold, there might be another bq phone on the horizon and OTA-4 will probably be released next week. Exciting times for Ubuntu Touch! Let’s push the App Store to over 2000 entries!

In this edition I split all categories into three parts to make everything clearer: “Existing”, “In Progress” and “Missing”. The games table was replaced again and some sections merged. Entries marked with the (UPDATED) tag have been updated since the last list. Entries marked with the (NEW) tag have been added since the last list, but that does NOT necessarily mean that the app was not in the store before!



In Progress:


Just look at the Android App Store Charts for more inspiration.

Clones of small utilities



  • Car Finder to remember the position of your parked car

  • Metal detector (…if this can be taken seriously)

  • Sound Meter (with calibration profiles for known devices)

Clones/Ports of useful single-purpose database apps

These apps could probably be ported, but they are so simple that they can also be easily cloned.


  • (NEW) Socket World, a list of power plugs and sockets used in different countries.



  • Authenticator, a two-factor authentication utility

  • (NEW) Beru, an e-Book reader for DRM-free books in the ePub format.

  • (NEW) Cantata, an MPD client.

  • Chancho, a personal finance management app.

  • (NEW) Dekko, an e-mail client.

  • (NEW) Document Viewer, a document viewer for PDFs and other file formats.

  • (NEW) DowNow, a BitTorrent client with Magnet link support and a built-in search engine frontend.

  • (NEW) Funds, another personal finance management app.

  • (NEW) GPS Navigation, online, turn-by-turn navigation based on OpenStreetMap data.

  • (NEW) Graphite Drawing, a natural painting app.

  • Known, an offline dictionary.

  • (NEW) Mirage, another painting app.

  • (NEW) Network Scanner, a TCP/IP network scanner.

  • (NEW) Plates, a calorie intake tracker.

  • Podbird, a podcast downloader and player.

  • Scuba Gas Manager and VooDoo Gas, two gas calculators for scuba divers.

  • (NEW) Shorts, an RSS feed reader.

  • Tagger, a Barcode scanner.

  • (NEW) Tasks and (NEW) Utudu, task management apps.

  • (NEW) Telegram, a secure Instant Messenger.

  • uRadio and (NEW) RadioTunes, online radio stream players.

In Progress:

  • Aard Dictionary. Aard allows you to read offline versions of many dictionaries and databases, e.g. Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikiquote etc. I use it extensively when traveling. There are several open-source implementations of the libraries and frontends for different platforms, e.g. Android and Desktop Linux. (I am working on it, albeit slowly.)

  • SMB client. Looks like this will be implemented in the File Manager soon.

  • (UPDATED) DLNA server, to stream audio/video to the local network.


  • AdBlock/AdFree

  • Audio/Video format converter

  • Audio Memo Recorder. Maybe this could be integrated in the Notes app somehow?

  • Backup. This is extremely important, phones store a lot of data and most users will get a new phone within less than three years, so backup and restore should be as painless as possible. It’s a horror on Android, let’s do better.

  • Business card scanner

  • A Camera app on par with the Google Camera App. I use the Panorama and Photo Sphere functions quite often.

  • Native clients for all major cloud file sync services (Syncthing, ownCloud, DropBox, MEGA etc.)

  • Comic Book Reader

  • Desktop integration like AirDroid. Transfer files between desktop and phone, show phone notifications on the desktop, write SMS from the desktop etc.

  • Firefox

  • DLNA client, to stream audio/video from the local network. This should probably be built into the Media Hub?

  • FTP/SCP/SFTP file transfer client, maybe built into the file manager? And with Content Hub support?

  • FM Radio. Currently not possible on the bq because the lower layers do not support the built-in FM receiver hardware.

  • Folder size

  • Native IRC client

  • OsmAnd or any other turn-by-turn navigation app with offline maps support, preferably with OpenStreetMap support. I use this extensively, not just abroad.

  • Password Safes. I don’t use them and don’t like them, but other people do.

  • Remote frontends for Torrent clients (Deluge etc.)

  • WiFi scanner. There are two approaches to this: You can either install Michael Zanetti’s OpenStore and run his WiFi Scanner on a vivid device in the meantime, or you can wait until the connectivity-api allows the implementation of a confined WiFi scanner.

  • BlueTooth scanner (as soon as the connectivity-api exposes the necessary functionality)

  • Mobile network scanner (as soon as the connectivity-api exposes the necessary functionality)

  • Scuba Diving logger. There are a lot of divers out there, including Torvalds himself.

  • Simple video editor

  • Task automation like Tasker (Michael Zanetti has an initial implementation which would need an UI and some phone-related plugins.)

  • Tor

  • Vector graphics editor like SketchBook Express.

  • VideoLAN Client (VLC) (There is a Remote Control for VLC.)

The source code for the following apps is not available, and they often rely on proprietary APIs, so we probably have to nag the authors or reverse-engineer the APIs.


In Progress:


  • Bandsintown. A webapp will not be enough since the original app can scan the music files on your device and discover your favourite bands this way.

  •, Airbnb, Kayak, EBookers and friends. There are webapps, but native apps come with useful features like offline support.

  • Carsharing apps. A webapp may be enough, but I am not sure as I don’t use Carsharing.

  • E-Learning for languages (Babbel, busuu, duolingo etc.) and other areas. (There is Lang.)

  • More Fitness tracker apps like FitApp, Runtastic etc.

  • FlightRadar24

  • Google Earth

  • Google Goggles

  • Google Hangouts or a replacement. WebRTC might be an option, or the native SailfishOS client by Daniele Rogora.

  • Instagram. There is a webapp, but it can only show pictures and not edit/upload them.

  • Flickr. There are now two webapps, the scope and the uploader, but it’s not yet the same as a fully native app.

  • Snapchat/Slingshot/etc.

  • LinkedIn. There is a webapp, but it lacks platform integration.

  • Native Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps. I don’t like Facebook, but people are going to want it, and the webapp is powerful, but lacks platform integration.

  • An Office Suite, preferably LibreOffice.

  • Secure Online Banking for multiple accounts.

  • Prey or some other anti-theft system.

  • Public transportation apps like DB Navigator or fahrplan already implements many things, but you can’t e.g. buy tickets with it, which is one of my major use cases for a smartphone. At least Deutsche Bahn was well-known for also releasing their apps for more “exotic” platforms like Palm handhelds or Symbian devices, and lots of functionality in the Android app is just implemented as a web views, so there is a slight possibility for a somewhat native UT app.

  • Re-commerce apps like Re-Buy, Momox, etc. I think something like Werzahltmehr (“Who pays more?”) could be built from Tagger.

  • Shazam, SoundHound or any other song recognition service. (There is Eyrie.)

  • Skobbler. We will never get a native, full-featured Google Maps app anyway, and Skobbler might be a worthy replacement.

  • Skype or Viber or LINE or Tango or Wire or a replacement, but the replacement will have to be very good if it wants to successfully compete against Skype.


  • StoryClash

  • TripAdvisor: There is a webapp, but the native app can download content for offline use.

  • Uber/MyTaxi/etc.

  • WeChat for chinese users.

  • (“Who streams it?”), tells you which video streaming provider offers your favourite content.

  • WhatsApp. I don’t like it, and most smartphones have the power to run both WhatsApp and Telegram at the same time, so you can probably talk most of your friends into installing Telegram, but when Ubuntu Touch devices become generally available the lack of a WhatsApp client will become problematic. And no, WhatsApp Web is not a solution.

  • Wikitude

  • Xing. There is a webapp, but it lacks platform integration.

  • Zedge

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